MONROVIA – Prosecuting lawyers representing the State are pleading with the Monrovia City Court to declare the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) a “hostile witness” to allow them place him on cross-examination.
Their appeal came after Alexander Cummings took the witness stand in court, denying the existence of the original copy of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Framework Document.
Declaring Cummings a “hostile witness,” would mean he is not cooperating as per the questions asked or his answers in court were not corresponding with prosecution questions when he took the witness stand on Monday.
Our correspondent said this could lead to the prosecution asking him questions that would compel Cummings to respond directly or politely, and could easily lead to his imprisonment, failure to respond politely.
However, the lead lawyer for Cummings, Cllr. Abrahim Sillah, has described the prosecution request against his client to declare him a “hostile witness” and to cross-examine him as a delay tactic.
Cummings, who was brought in to testify as subpoena witness, has said that the CPP Framework Document does not exist and never existed.
Cummings’ accounts to the Court regarding the whereabouts of the CPP documents led to prosecuting lawyers’ request to the Court to declare him a “hostile witness”.
clr. Syrenius Cephus, Solicitor General of Liberia, has maintained that Cummings is a “hostile witness” because “he has shown hostility” towards prosecutors in Court and should be cross-examined by the prosecution.
“If he is saying there is no CPP Framework document, this means the CPP did not exist, so then, how did he become Chairman of CPP? These are the fundamental questions to answer and we have to make him a “general witness” for cross examination,” said Cllr. Cephus.
“Our subpoena witness is when a witness of a state become our property. Because of the hostility and disregard to authority of the state, we then move, consistent with the law, to declare him a ” hostile witness,” so that we will have the opportunity to cross-examine him.”
But Cummings’ legal team resisted the claims against their client and said those documents do not exist and should be grounds for the dismissal of the case.
The defense lawyers’ claims and counter-claims led to Judge Jomah Jallah suspending his ruling for Wednesday, February 23, 2022.
Cummings and two of his party officials – Senator Daniel Naatehn, Chairman and his secretary general Cllr. Alloysius Toe, are being trialed on allegations of forgery and criminal conspiracy at the Monrovia City Court.
Cummings: Ongoing trail politically motivated
Cummings, however, has said the ongoing trail of the full leadership of the ANC is speaks to the political nature of this case, expressing confidence that they will triumph at the end. “I can say with absolute certainty that our legal team is doing an excellent job representing us and be assured that the truth is on our side,” Cummings said.
Cummings also claimed that the ongoing trail is meant to slow him down in reaching out to Liberians and deny citizens the opportunity to choose their leaders in 2023 presidential elections.
“This is why they also denied our motion to have the trial in my absence, inorder to limit my travel to other far parts of the country.”
Despite the trail, Cummings continued his engagement with citizens Monday in and around Monsterrado County, promising to tackle corruption and make the economy work better for Liberians when elected president in 2023.